A new year is almost upon us, and while some of us may choose to go out and celebrate, I know quite a few people who'll be celebrating at home (I totally like the second option of staying in). For those of you heading to a house party or hosting your own party, I've saved your life. Don't take the usual boring bottle of champagne (though always welcome in my home), take champagne cupcakes! This is the perfect celebratory dessert, and it's just in time for New Year's Eve. I can see it now: The countdown to 2014 begins, there's a champagne flute in one hand and a champagne cupcake in the other—how perfect. Let's toast to the new year with cupcakes and champagne.
These cupcakes are pretty easy to make, even if you're not big on baking. Don't get me wrong, baking can bring on its own difficulties, messes and mess-ups at times, but this recipe shouldn't bring you any angst. My only advice is to try not to drink too much of the champagne while you're baking. Drinking too much could possibly lead to a kitchen mishap, and that's not how we want to celebrate New Year's. Should you decide to make these for New Year's Eve (and you should), please don't go out and buy the most expensive champagne there is. Yes, we may like to sip Veuve Clicquot, but it's not necessary to pour it into your cupcake batter. This doesn't mean you have to purchase the super-cheap brand, which shall remain nameless, but purchasing the good stuff isn't totally needed.
The best part of making these cupcakes is adding some sprinkles or edible stars like I did to further give off the New Year's party theme. If you're going to bake something that has champagne in the title, you may as well go all out.
First things first—gather your ingredients. Here's what you'll need:
• 3 cups of flour
• 3 teaspoons of baking powder
• ½ teaspoon of salt
• 2 sticks of butter
• 2 cups of sugar
• 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
• 6 egg whites
• 1 ½ cups of champagne
Mix your flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
In another mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and beat in the egg whites. Carefully beat in the flour mixture and the champagne in three alternating additions. It's very important to begin with the flour and end with the flour to prevent curdling.
Prep your pan, and line with cupcake liners. Carefully pour batter into each liner.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Cooking temperatures may vary depending on your oven.
While the cupcakes are baking, you can whip up some champagne icing. Here's what I learned through my homemade icing procedure: I'd rather purchase store-bought icing. I feel like I'm not supposed to say that, especially with this being a cooking column and all. I've made icing quite a few times, and I can never get it quite right. This time, I think the reason was that my kitchen was a bit too warm. A quick remedy for that would be to place the icing in the fridge for a bit. Here's the ingredients you'll need for the icing:
• ¾ stick of room-temperature butter
• 2 cups confectioners sugar
• ¼ cup champagne
• ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Grab a small mixing bowl, and beat the butter about a minute. Gradually add in the rest of the ingredients until smooth and creamy.
Once the cupcakes have cooled, ice them with your homemade (or store-bought) icing, and toast to a new year!
This recipe was slightly adapted from Style Within Reach.
Shawanda Mason is the creator and blogger of Eat.Drink.Frolic. For recipe questions or to chat about eating, drinking or frolicking, she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by following her on Twitter or Instagram. The opinions expressed in this column belong solely to the author, not Nooga.com or its employees.
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